FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Out of concern for Franklin County Agricultural Fair attendees, volunteers, and staff amid the rise in COVID-19 cases around the community, county officials announced Wednesday plans to postpone the 2021 fair until 2022.
Before making this decision, Franklin County officials say they held discussions with local and regional health officials, the Franklin County Board of Supervisors, fair vendors, and people volunteering for the event.
You can read the statement shared by the county on Wednesday, Sept. 1 below:
The County’s highest priority is the health and safety of its citizens. The County strives to protect both residents and staff, as well as event volunteers while simultaneously creating safe family entertainment events. Given the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases within Franklin County and the expected continued spike in infections over the next few weeks, the Franklin County Agricultural Fair cannot be held in a manner that ensures the safety of the expected 7,000-8,000 people, event staff, and volunteers that participate in the fair each year.
The Franklin County Agricultural Fair unavoidably positions both attendees and volunteers/staff in close proximity to one another which poses an increased threat of virus transmission. Patron transportation via enclosed shuttles; customer prolonged waits standing in ticket lines; volunteers serving in ticket and exhibit booths; as well as the sanitation of attraction rides are just a few examples of the high-risk situations the Fair may present. At this time the COVID-19 positivity rate in Franklin County has rapidly increased to an alarming 20.1% with hundreds of new positive COVID-19 cases added within the last couple of weeks. Area hospitals, emergency rooms, and medical providers are experiencing a continual increase in the number of COVID-19 patients.
Franklin County values providing entertainment events to its citizens and prides itself on safe and family-friendly County sanctioned events. With that being said, the County thanks the residents of the County for their efforts to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and looks forward to a period of decreasing positivity rates.
The Franklin County Agricultural Fair was originally set to be held in Rocky Mount on Friday, Sept. 17 and Saturday, Sept. 18, according to the fair’s Facebook page.
However, county officials announced on Wednesday that the fair has been delayed until Sept. 14-17, 2022.
You can find more information about the Franklin County Agricultural Fair on the fair’s website.
For breaking news delivered to you, subscribe to WFXR’s breaking news email list